Chapter 8

Frontiers in Bio-Inspired Mineralization: Addressing Mimesis of Four-Dimensional, Hierarchical, and Nonclassical Growth Characteristics of Biominerals

Stephan E. Wolf, Martina Schußler, Corinna F. Bohm and Benedikt Demmert


Biominerals are structures essential to their host organism, for which they provide varying functions and features. Through evolutionary optimization, they present sublime material properties as yet unparalleled in anthropogenically created materials. Formed at ambient temperatures from benign materials, the underlying formation processes and mechanisms still challenge our understanding. In this essay, we identify three key challenges which must be overcome to successfully emulate advanced biomimesis of ceramic materials. As frontiers singled out from the various challenges involved in mimicking biomineralization in vitro, three fundamental lines of research are represented: (i) temporal control of mineralization, (ii) spatial control of mineralization by self-organizing scaffolds and, finally, (iii) control of mineralization by nonclassical crystallization and thus unconventional mechanisms which are not yet part of the pertinent physicochemical canon. We expect that by mastering these aspects, the discipline of bio-inspired mineralization will take us far beyond where we are today.

Total Pages: 160-176 (17)

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